The day of Saint Lucia is a tradition in the Nordic countries which is celebrated on the 13th of December. In Finland it is mainly celebrated by the Swedish-speaking minority. Saint Lucia was a Christian martyr and saint who lived in the 3rd century. She brought food for the hiding Christians in the catacombs of Italy and today she is celebrated as a symbol light and hope. Saint Lucia brings the light to dark and cold winter days.
The tradition includes having a girl dress up as Saint Lucia in a white dress with a candle crown. Our school crowns the Lucia of Oulu. Lucia is chosen by voting for one of three candidates. The candidate who receives most votes is crowned in Rotuaari, which is a central place in our city. After the crowning Lucia with her maids and choir, consisting of our high-school students and teachers, tour around Oulu in hospitals, retirement and nursing homes. They bring light and joy to those in need by singing and reading poems.
During the Lucia tour the rest of our school takes part in charitable work by attending and enjoying our theme days. Both this year’s and last year’s theme has been immigrants. Last year we invited youths from a refugee home to play sports with us. This year we held a fair where we sold Finnish Christmas bakeries and used winter sports equipment to raise money via UNICEF for the kids of Syria.
Theme Days 2016
This week in December 2016 we are going to have two theme days. On Thursday we will be baking pastries together with the Finnish Martha organisation, a Finnish organisation that provides advice and activities in home economics. The next day we will be serving our pastries to a group of young refugees who will be visiting our school. We will also be making Christmas decorations with them.
We think that it is important to help refugees integrate into the Finnish society and school system, and help them get used to the Finnish culture. As a society we should make sure that refugees feel welcome to Finland. We want to lend a helping hand and teach them a little bit more about Finnish people.
Written by students in The Swedish School at the class of G2
The students of Svenska Privatskolan visited the Independence Day party at Laanila High School and told about the meaning of our minority language Swedish. See more photos and follow our work with this project at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1022049654567636/